Topeka: Ron Capps final summary

CAPPS CAPTURES HIS FOURTH WIN OF SEASON, BEATS FORCE IN FINAL TOPEKA, Kan. (May 28, 2006) - Ron Capps just keeps rolling along, reaching his sixth Funny Car final round of the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series today at the O'Reilly NHRA...

CAPPS CAPTURES HIS FOURTH WIN OF SEASON, BEATS FORCE IN FINAL

TOPEKA, Kan. (May 28, 2006) - Ron Capps just keeps rolling along, reaching his sixth Funny Car final round of the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series today at the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals, winning his fourth event of the year, and beating John Force again in the process.

Capps, who drives the Brut Dodge Charger R/T (with additional support from Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels), extended his lead over second-place John Force to 109 points in the Funny Car rankings after defeating the 13-time champion in the final round with a stellar pass of 4.992 seconds at 293.54 mph to Force's tire-smoking 6.162/150.53.

This win marked his 21st career victory, his sixth win in the last 14 events (dating back to 2005), and a 3-for-0 record against John Force in final-round wins. Capps has won seven of the duo's last eight meetings. It was also the first victory for a Dodge Charger Funny Car.

En route to the final round under the hottest conditions of the season, Capps defeated Cruz Pedregon with a 4.993/296.57, then his teammate Whit Bazemore in an outstanding contest to the finish (4.985/295.92 for Capps, 4.994/298.40 for Bazemore), then John Force Racing teammate Robert Hight in the semifinal with a 4.974/299.46.

"Wow, I can't believe you're talking about me," he said when the above stats were read. "I'm blessed right now. I'm enjoying this car.

"I was a little bummed in Atlanta and Columbus (the last two races in which he lost first round). We had cold fronts come through and those are races where we were supposed to have conditions like this, where it was hot. And I thought that's where it was going to really start.

"We worked so hard preseason testing on the (new Goodyear) tire, that when we got to Gainesville and Houston it paid off (where he won). I had told everybody in the media that I hope it gets 95 (here), I hope it gets 100 degrees...it's going to be good for me because Ace (crew chief Ed McCulloch) gives me a great car.

"We were just a tick behind [Force] every run, a couple of runs quicker in qualifying but everybody was pretty bunched up - with the exception of the (4).84 that Force threw out in the first round. That was pretty wild. Every run he'd run .97, we'd run .98, then he'd run .98 and we'd run (another .90-something). It was just back and forth.

"They pulled a lane change on us the last minute. I don't know if that was to try to get in my head. I don't know if that was something they saw in the other lane. We'd been in the right lane all day and they'd been in the left lane, so I thought, Ok, you're trying to mess with us. I got up there and I was so poised to leave the starting line. I don't know what happened to him, but my car vibrated, moved next to the wall and I thought, Baby, just stay in here, stay in here, don't pull the tires loose. And my win light was on down there. I couldn't believe it. (I'm) Just shaking my head in disbelief."

Next up is the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., June 9-11.

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Cruz Pedregon , Robert Hight